Your energy is one of the few components that shape all aspects of your life. Even though most people are obsessed with time-management strategies, the truth is that you can’t just make up more time.
Yet, what you can do is increase your energy so you can be more productive in less time.
And contrary to common belief, energy is our most valuable resource, not time.
The only problem is that we often spend most of our time ruining our energy levels instead of supporting ourselves through energizing routines.
But we aren’t even doing this consciously. We just don’t know how to protect and increase our energy levels because most of the things we’re being taught in order to live a “normal” life deplete our energy instead of filling it up.
Read also: How to create a life full of abundance
Most people spend their entire lives being overwhelmed and tired for two reasons:
They’re always busy. They never have time because they always have a thousand different things to do.
They don’t know how to rest properly. They feel bad for sleeping too long because they could’ve used that time for work, they don’t know how to properly energize their bodies through nutrition, and they spend the majority of their time sitting indoors, which is a horrible combination.
As a result, companies like Red Bull make billions each year by selling energy drinks and power shots. People all over the globe are exhausted and looking for a quick fix, mostly turning to caffeine and synthetic beverages to feel an instant energy rush and cross off one more task from their endless to-do list.
The truth, however, is that all these energy drinks and quick fixes only lead to short-term alertness but make you feel even worse in the long run.
The solution to a more energized life is to tackle the root of the problem by getting rid of energy-draining activities that we usually repeat daily:
Stop killing your energy so soon
Most of us spend the first minutes of our day ruining our freshly gained energy through subtle routines.
And the first thing we usually do is reaching for our phones and either pressing the snooze button or, even worse: Checking newsfeeds.
We go from sleeping to processing ridiculous amounts of information, messages, and toxic news in just a few seconds and wonder why we lack energy by the time we get to work.
The truth is, you’re not built for that sudden transition.
What you need instead is a routine that helps you start your days with joy, ease, and clarity.
And I’m not talking about a fancy 60-minute routine that requires you to work out, read, meditate, journal, and do a dozen crazy things you don’t want to do.
I’m talking about allowing yourself to experience peaceful mornings — without your phone. That’s all.
Checking our phones first thing in the morning is a way of disrespecting ourselves because it immediately activates alertness in our brains and puts us into a fight-or-flight mode before we even get out of bed.
What to do:
Instead of devoting the first minutes of your day to your phone, devote them to your peace of mind.
Make sure to have a few spare minutes to enjoy your cup of morning coffee or tea in peace in silence. Listen to your favorite music. Prepare a breakfast you truly enjoy. Take a peaceful shower without being in a rush. Take time for a slow skincare routine.
I know what you might think now: I don’t have time for any of that!
But if you’re honest with yourself, you know that you do.
If you truly care, you’ll just get up a few minutes earlier, so you have more time for yourself.
If you need to take care of the kids, you’ll get up a few minutes before they do.
The rest of your day will likely be controlled by others anyway: your boss, colleagues, clients, spouse, parents, kids,… so give yourself a few peaceful minutes before you start responding to other people’s needs.
On top of that, I recommend that you minimize the decisions you make each morning. With each decision, you’re using up your energy, so I recommend doing one of two things:
Make most decisions before going to bed each night (e.g., what to wear, what you’ll have for breakfast, when you’ll leave the house,…)
Eliminate the decisions altogether (e.g., by minimizing the number of outfits you wear or having the same breakfast each day) so you have more energy to enjoy life and solve unexpected problems.
Stop taking your problems so seriously
Another common way we ruin our energy levels is by being too focused on problems and not allowing ourselves to appreciate the small joys of each day.
What to do:
Next time you find yourself stressing over a problem, do this exercise:
First, ask yourself what you can do about the problem. What are the practical steps you can implement right now?
What are things you need to do but can’t do now? What type of information or support do you need? How can you ensure you’ll get it as soon as possible? Write all of it down.
Is there anything else you can do, such as calling someone, preparing the next steps, or buying something in order to speed up the process?
When there’s nothing left to do, you know you can relax because you know exactly what the next steps are — all you need to do is be patient and enjoy the time until you can actually get things done.
Stop treating your body like crap
This is the biggest yet most underrated way we’re ruining our energy levels each day: Eating food that makes us feel full, uncomfortable, and miserable because it lacks proper nutrients and is hard to digest.
And paradoxically, we usually eat the most unhealthy foods when we feel stressed because sugar cravings are a natural reaction to stress.
Yet, that’s the time when we should be even more careful about what we put into our bodies because our nutrition directly affects our cognitive abilities and stress coping mechanisms. Studies even prove that food affects how we think.
A high-sugar diet, for instance, slows down our brains and our ability to learn and memorize.
What to do:
Eat more foods you can actually pronounce. Enjoy anything you like in moderation, but try to prioritize meals that make you feel good instead of bad.
We all know how annoying that afternoon slump after lunch can feel, so let’s try to avoid it by sticking to a diet that focuses on whole foods and nutrients that make us feel energized instead of depleted.
On top of that, make sure to always keep your body hydrated. Being thirsty is usually a sign that you’re already dehydrated, so ideally, you’ll always drink some water before you feel thirsty.
Don’t waste your time arguing with people who don’t want to understand you
The world is full of people who want to be right and first by all means. They think their opinion is more valuable than anyone else’s and believe they’re the center of the universe.
And as if that’s not enough, they usually want you to treat them that way too.
They might not even want to hear your point of view because they’re so obsessed with what they think.
And by taking them too seriously, we usually just drain our own energy.
What to do:
Stop trying to please everyone around you — especially those who don’t make an effort to reciprocate and give back.
There will always be people who won’t understand you, so it’s best if you just learn to move on without paying too much attention.
Here’s a mantra I’ve learned from Lisa Nichols that always reminds me to focus on my inner world instead of being too obsessed with other people’s opinions:
I have nothing to prove
I have nothing to hide
I have nothing to defend
I have nothing to protect
When routines become toxic instead of helpful
One of the most basic pieces of self-help advice is to build routines. And that’s solid advice because, as mentioned above, a (morning) routine can help you save precious time and energy by eliminating the number of decisions you need to make.
Yet, the problem is that routinizing your entire life can quickly become boring and repetitive, leading to a drop instead of an increase in your energy levels.
We need changes and new stimuli to stay engaged and energized because becoming too comfortable won’t help us explore new ideas and make new experiences.
What to do:
Use routines and habits to make a specific part of your life easier but don’t forget to also have fun sometimes.
Just think of the times of your life when you felt most energized: When was that?
It probably wasn’t during your comfortable morning routine or your typical Sunday on the couch.
The moments that make us feel most alive are the special ones. It’s first dates, first kisses, unexpected adventures, and moments that made us feel a bit uncomfortable at first.
Stick to the routines that help you save time and energy but also allow yourself to tap out of that routine every once in a while to do things that make you feel truly alive.
I see you scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling
We have more opportunities than ever before to learn and do anything we want, yet, we mostly fail to get started because we’re too busy scrolling through endless news feeds and mindlessly consuming content for several hours each week.
Studies prove that most adults completely underestimate how much time they spend glued to their screens.
And as you can imagine, this is constant information overwhelm leads to a massive drop in our energy levels because it causes mental fatigue, overwhelm, and even anxiety.
We’re so afraid of missing out on news that we constantly feel the desire to scroll up and down.
What to do:
Here are two things you can do to slowly cure your phone addiction:
1.) Every time you want to check your phone, ask yourself why exactly you want to check it. Is there something you really need to do, or are you unlocking your screen because you’re bored or tired?
If it’s boredom, do something else first. Take a few deep breaths, stretch your body for a minute, drink a glass of water, stare out of the window and watch the clouds — almost anything is better than overwhelming your mind through useless information.
2.) Unfollow most people and profiles, so you only see the content of a few selected accounts.
Unfollow all accounts that make you feel bad instead of good.
This might be an influencer who’s great at editing her photos and making you feel bad about your own body, a news page with clickbaity titles, or any other profile that triggers negative emotions.
You need to deal with loads of difficulties in real life anyway, so there’s no point in additionally overwhelming your mind through harmful content.
Follow inspirational and educational profiles instead. Or follow accounts that make you laugh. Watching a lovely cat video will surely have a better impact on your energy levels than reading horrible news about something that’s happening on the other side of the world.
I’m not telling you to be ignorant about what’s going on in the world, but I’m indeed encouraging you to take things easy, because the truth is, one day, you’ll die. The only question is whether you enjoy the ride until that day or whether you put too much pressure on yourself and keep worrying about things you can’t control or change.
Most of the time, it’s not the huge changes or exotic habits that shape our lives, but it’s our small, daily routines.
Even though tiredness is a huge problem for many people across the globe, we have simple tools to defeat it. At this point, you know that you should do some of the things I described above, but the question is: will you?
CONTRIBUTED BY Sinem Günel
For more information and updates join our WhatsApp group HERE
Like our page on Facebook HERE